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Questions tagged [history]

Questions related to how something was in the past, and how it's developed since then.

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66 views

Was Potiphar, being a captain of an Egyptian guard, likely a eunuch? [duplicate]

In Genesis, we read the infamous story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Potiphar's wife (who is named Zuleikha, at least according Sefer HaYashar) repeatedly makes sexual advances on Joseph, and as we ...
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58 views

When was the Beith Hamiqdash hasheni fully completed?

What year was the second Beith Hamiqdash fully completed? Can any one of you answer back with both Hebrew and Secular dates?
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104 views

Questioning who is the real Achashverosh

So I am doing very much research and I am trying to find out the REAL Achashverosh, so far, there are several possible rulers of Persia that could be the real Achashverosh Can anyone of you guys ...
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78 views

The story of the Minim and Boethusians; trying to fix the festival of Shavuot on Sunday

I've found different sources like the Mishnah, Babylonian Talmud (tractate Rosh HaShanah), Jerusalem Talmud, Tosefta etc., talking about the Minim and the Boethusians who wanted to fix the festival of ...
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54 views

What subjects did talmud censoring involve and how far back does it go?

I'm aware of censoring of the name Yeshu, in the soncino printing of the talmud where they replaced it with "sinners of israel" in Gittin 57a. I'm interested what other subjects or names were ...
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88 views

What happened to the Mugmar?

In Brochos Perek 6, Mishna 6 the Mugmar is mentioned in the context of who makes the Brocha for it. Commentaries explain that it is some sort of incense that was smelled after a meal. It would ...
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72 views

Pairs of the Ramchal's works

Machon Ofek has published the Ramchal's Mesillas Yesharim (MY) as well as what they call The Mesillas Yesharim- Seder Vikuach which is essentially the same as the commonly known MY but in dialogue ...
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68 views

What powers and responsibilities do wives of Jewish kings have in relation to the public?

It is known that a Jewish king has to be male, as quoted by an answer to this question. What halachik powers did the queen (i.e. wife of the king) have within the kingdom? Also, what historical ...
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1answer
109 views

How to understand the texts that litterally speak of other gods and compares to G_d [duplicate]

Psalm 97:9 9 For You, O Lord, are Most High above all the earth; You are very much exalted above all gods. There are many similar indications, that the Jews (at least in the time of the king ...
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129 views

Are there Jewish sources regarding this degradation of the Jews of Prague

Are there Jewish sources regarding this degradation of the Jews of Prague? (Allowing it, protesting it (they should have been killed and not do it)) From https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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32 views

How do we know that word of the torah has been kept the same over generations? [duplicate]

Can we guarantee this text has not been significantly altered in any way? What is the evidence which supports its preservation?
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44 views

When did it become common to engrave tombstones?

I'm going to "link" this question to something in this week's parsha (Torah reading): Genesis 35:20: וַיַּצֵּ֧ב יַעֲקֹ֛ב מַצֵּבָ֖ה עַל־קְבֻרָתָ֑הּ הִ֛וא מַצֶּ֥בֶת קְבֻֽרַת־רָחֵ֖ל עַד־הַיּֽוֹם׃ ...
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104 views

Who put the parentheses in the Gemara, when, and for what reason(s)?

From time to time there are parentheses in the gemara (e.g., Taanis 17b). Who put the parentheses there, when, and for what reason(s)?
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52 views

Is there a historical, cultural, traditional, or scriptural explanation for the prevalence of Jews in the comedy business? [duplicate]

If you took the general demographic data for the U.S. and compared it to the demographics of professional comics and comedians in the U.S., I think you'd find that Jews are disproportionately ...
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84 views

Death Penalty for Desecrating God's Name?

In light of some of the recent embarrassing criminal incidents involving visibly religious Jews in the United States, it made me think of something I had read once ( or vaguely remember reading ) that ...
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119 views

History of ḥalāqah/Upsherin (אפשערן/חאלאקה) [duplicate]

What are the earliest sources for these customs? i found mention of the custom amongst Sephardim of Eretz Yisrael in the Kether Shem Tob. But that only mentions it for Eretz Yisrael, and doesn't ...
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51 views

What kind of publicity was required for Smicha?

There's a story in Sanhedrin 14a: שפעם אחת גזרה מלכות הרשעה גזירה על ישראל שכל הסומך יהרג וכל הנסמך יהרג ועיר שסומכין בה תיחרב ותחומין שסומכין בהן יעקרו מה עשה יהודה בן בבא הלך וישב לו בין שני הרים ...
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1answer
116 views

Why are Jews always targets? [duplicate]

Throughout history Jews have been targets and scapegoats for people's stupidity, crimes and failure. Why? What makes this group so much more susceptible to racism and hatred?
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59 views

Who developed the vowels for the Hebrew language Ezra or the Masoretes? [duplicate]

I've read that Ezra developed pointings to serve as vowels. 200 years later, when the Bible was translated from Hebrew to Greek, all Hebrew manuscripts had the new form of writing. Who developed the ...
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1answer
157 views

Accounts for Har Sinai [closed]

How many accounts for the giving of the Torah on Har Sinai do we have in Jewish tradition?
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68 views

Greeks' gas lamps

I once heard that there is a source that says the Greeks invented gas lamps or some sort of street lights which enabled the Jews to roam the streets at night and not be with their families. The plan ...
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142 views

Ibn Ezra vs. Hachamim in Regards to Piyyutim

In Kohelet 5:1 (Al Tibahel), Ibn Ezra has a lengthy, harsh critique of R. Eliezer HaKalir and other Paytanim for their poetry's components (in short: flowery language, the use of allegory/metaphor/...
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82 views

When did the Talmudic penalty of death stop being carried out? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: History of Capital Punishment When did the Talmudic penality of death stop being carried out? For example, the opening verses of Tractate Sotah describe death penalty for ...
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1answer
182 views

What are the Jewish months exactly?

I am aware that the names of the months are derived almost directly from the Babylonian calendar and that the Chumash itself never mentions a month by name and instead refers to it by number. Later on ...
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2answers
1k views

Any famous Jews named Muhammad, Mahmud, Mehmet, etc.? [closed]

There is a halacha that one may not name a child after an evildoer, a principle known as shem reshaim yirkav taken from Yoma 38b ("ועל בן קמצר וחביריו נאמר ושם רשעים ירקב", cf. Mishlei 10:7). Later ...
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1answer
155 views

Birth control in times of old [closed]

Nowadays there are many halachically permissible birth control methods that are available (pills, diaphragms, coils, etc.) that were not available in the past. Aside from the natural means of ...
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3answers
6k views

Did Jews kill any of their prophet?

Qur'an accuses Jews of killing their prophets: And [recall] when you said, "O Moses, we can never endure one [kind of] food. So call upon your Lord to bring forth for us from the earth its green ...
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1answer
130 views

What Jewish leaders/rabbis/prophets were active in years 3350-3360?

What Jewish leaders/rabbis/prophets were active in years 3350-3360 (in Jewish calendar years)? and died around 3360...
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3answers
72 views

History of 5 Teveis [closed]

New Series **Looking for answers as to what happened in Jewish history on this date. It can include both positive and negative occurrences. It can also include birthdays or Yarzheits of well known ...
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3answers
2k views

Rav Shach and Lubavitsher Rebbe [closed]

From a purely Torah perspective. What was the disagreement between Rav Shach and the Lubavitcher Rebbe? Like, from a halachic point of view what were their opinions and why? I know they disagreed ...
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1answer
161 views

When in time did the Jewish people get sold to Greacans, according to Joel?

Yoel 4 says: 3 And they have cast lots for My people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, and have drunk. and 6 the children also of Judah and the children of ...
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4answers
3k views

What is the torah view on the dinosaurs?

What is the Torah view on the dinosaurs? There's no mention of them in the Torah, only that the world was created in 6 days. You'd think the existence of a former world of huge alien creatures would ...
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2answers
74 views

History of 10 Teveis [closed]

**Looking for answers as to what happened in Jewish history on this date. It can include both positive and negative occurrences. It can also include birthdays or Yarzheits of well known personalities ...
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2answers
57 views

Is there a book that lists major Jewish events that occurred on each day (Judaic calendar)?

A few months ago, I attended a shul on Shabbat that had a list of "notable" historic events that occurred on each Judaic date that was to occur in the following week. (E.g., if the week following was ...
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2answers
1k views

Pulling ear when sneeze

Where does it come from that people pull their ear when they sneeze does it have something to do with our forefather Jacob before him no-one became ill just before death? That is, he became ill before ...
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2answers
938 views

What was “baptism” to the Jews in the time of John the Baptist? [closed]

Did Jews before John the Baptist practice something called "baptism"? If so, what was it and what was its significance? I am looking for a traditional Jewish understanding of this concept in its ...
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3answers
177 views

Are there any late-Achronim who wrote like a Rishon (or early-Acharon)?

When the Rishonim wrote, they weighed every word they used, considered the meaning and inferences of all possibilities and decided on what best reflects their position as a whole. This is how we treat ...
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2answers
61 views

Exodus points for discussion?

I have a few questions abou the Exodus. Is there any way to know in which era or year the Exodus took place? And do we take Pharaoh to mean Pharaoh or could it be any family member, vice or under ...
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1answer
115 views

Evidence that Yovel was ever observed?

In the 5773 podcast at 21:38m Behar, Bechukotai: An Economic Vision of Justice from the Pardes Institute, Dr. Meesh Hammer-Kossoy says that there is no historical evidence that the Yovel year was ever ...
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2answers
205 views

Great Leaders with Very Humble Beginnings

So from all my times learning i've basically come to the conclusion that nobody simple becomes great in a certain way, the protagonist, if you will, is pretty much born with the gift. or inhabits that ...
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2answers
143 views

Listing acts of patriotism towards a host nation

In the UK, united synagogues recite a prayer for the royal family including a blessing for "all her advisors and councillers" that they may grant us peace, etc. Many synagogues also display British ...
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2answers
178 views

Who was the first person to be referred to by acronym? [duplicate]

Rashi, Rambam, the Maharal, the Rosh, the Rema, etc. are all usually referred to by their acronyms. This custom makes sense in a culture that is mostly transmitted through the written word where ink ...
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3answers
156 views

Are there cases of a one-time (extreme) punishment that rabbis meted for the sake of a community's commitment to Torah?

I have heard about cases (during the period of the late Rishonim) where a Posek or a Beis Din meted out a harsh punishment to an individual for their breach of halacha in order to protect their ...
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2answers
236 views

Yochanan Kohain Gadol

The Gemara Brachos 29 tells us that Yochanan Kohain Gadol at 80 years old went off the Derech and became a צדוקי. How does this jive with the Gemara in Yuma עברו רוב שנותיו ולא חטא, שוב לא יחטא - 38 - ...
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2answers
53 views

History of 15 Teveis [closed]

**Looking for answers as to what happened in Jewish history on this date. It can include both positive and negative occurrences. It can also include birthdays or Yarzheits of well known personalities ...
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1answer
262 views

Legend of Bahamut giant fish/whale that carries earth on its back?

There is a Islamic account of a giant fish/whale that carries the earth on its back and resides in a vast ocean. It is a authentic narration but is said its a Israiliyat account - meaning fables ...
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1answer
352 views

Burial traditions and teffilin usage traditions

Was it a Jewish tradition in the First Century to bury a man with donned tefillin? I am asking since I am curious if it was possible that Jesus had donned tefillin before he was crucified, and ...
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1answer
492 views

Proverbs 8:22-31. Woman Wisdom personified or actual being?

In Proverbs 8:22-31, a figure known as "Woman Wisdom" is described as being present when G-d was creating the world. Obviously, "Woman Wisdom" serves as a great personification to teach about the ...
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1answer
119 views

Do you have to have a dead relative named Alexander to name your child Alexander?

Piggybacking on this question... I am wondering if there are any names (such as Alexander, or other names for which Jews have a special tradition to name children) that supersede the Ashkenazic ...
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1answer
135 views

What is the meaning of surnames that number-related? [closed]

I deal a lot with names, whether given names or family names, especially as I collect genealogical information. So recently I'm puzzled about some Germanic-Jewish names that are related to numbers. "...